update deskIsrael at War

Hamas hardens positions, halves number of hostages willing to release

The terrorist organization is also demanding the release of more hardened terrorists and a higher ratio of jailed terrorists released per hostage freed.

Israelis call for the release of hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza, outside a meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Tel Aviv, March 22, 2024. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90.
Israelis call for the release of hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza, outside a meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Tel Aviv, March 22, 2024. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90.

Hamas has dropped the number of hostages it is willing to release in the first stage of any deal with Israel from 40 to 20, according to Israel’s Channel 12.

The terrorist organization is also demanding the release of more hardened terrorists and a higher ratio of jailed Palestinian terrorists released per Israeli hostage freed.

Hamas said on Saturday that it reaffirms “our adherence to our demands and the national demands of our people,” with “a permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of the occupation army from the entire Gaza Strip, the return of the displaced to their areas and places of residence, intensification of the entry of relief and aid and the start of reconstruction.”

While Israel has shown flexibility in the hopes of arriving at a hostage deal, Hamas has impeded an agreement, U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said on Monday.

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